Beijing to fast-track new mask factory in COVID-19 fight

Beijing to fast-track new mask factory in COVID-19 fight

Women wearing face masks ride shared bicycles, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel co
Women wearing face masks ride shared bicycles, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 15, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING: The Chinese capital of Beijing will set up a new mask factory within just six days to meet soaring demand for protective gear in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday (Feb 17).

The factory, to be converted from an industrial building by China Construction First Group, will be able to turn out 250,000 masks each day, it said, adding that work began on Monday and was set to be completed by Saturday.

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The rapid pace and makeshift nature of the plant mirror measures taken in the virus epicentre of Wuhan, in the central province of Hubei, where buildings have been converted to treat infected patients, or hospitals built from scratch, in days.

Producers of masks and other protective equipment around the world have been unable to meet demand in the wake of the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,700 people in China.

READ: COVID-19 threat could erode with time just as with H1N1, say experts

Last month, CMmask, a Chinese mask maker that supplies 30 per cent of the domestic market, said daily orders for 5 million masks were more than 10 times its usual level.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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